CMS: Spending on healthcare, including nursing home care, slows in 2008

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Healthcare spending in the U.S. continued to outpace the overall economy in 2008, despite experiencing the slowest rate of growth in five decades. It climbed by 4.4% to roughly $2.3 trillion, according to a report released today.

Overall spending on nursing home care also decelerated in 2008, according to the report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Office of the Actuary. Nursing home spending grew by 4.6% in 2008. That compares to 5.8% in 2007.

The economic recession significantly slowed down the rate of healthcare spending growth in 2008, as more and more people could not afford insurance or treatment, according to the report. A temporary 27-month increase in the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 also affected healthcare spending, as $7 billion in Medicaid spending was shifted from states to federal spending during the last quarter of 2008.

Although the rate of spending slowed, healthcare's total share of the gross domestic product (GDP) actually increased during 2008. Healthcare consumed 16.2% of national spending that year, up 0.3% from 2007. CMS' report appears in Tuesday's issue of the health policy journal Health Affairs. 


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